Gemma & Chris’ do-it-yourself backyard wedding in the heart of England
Yes, I’m still catching up on a number of previous weddings here on my blog. When Gemma married Chris it was a truly beautiful day on what I can only describe as an archetypal rural English wedding in pretty Northamptonshire.
I’ve actually known Chris for almost 30 years now, although we hadn’t really seen much of one another in the last 15 years or so. So it was an absolute honour and thrill to be asked to document his and Gemma’s wedding in the village of Nether Heyford – where Chris had spent his childhood growing up and still a community he has very strong ties to.
So I knew it was going to be a very special wedding day.
Bridal Preparations at home in Abington, Northampton
My day started early, as it usually does, turning up at the couple’s home in Abington, Northampton where Gemma and her bridal party were preparing for the wedding day ahead. As is always the way with bridal preparations there was so much happening – which is fantastic for me a documentary wedding photography who captures all those natural moments and genuine emotions.
With excited children, emotional family and fun loving bridesmaids there was never a dull moment to be had and so many great decisive moments for me to document.
Wedding at St Peter & St Paul Church, Nether Heyford
Without doubt the village church of St Peter & St Paul in Nether Heyford is a stunning and very traditional location for an English rural wedding. Lying in the heart of the village, surrounded by old sandstone cottages and in leafy shadows of surrounding trees, part of the church dates back to the 13th century.
To be allowed to marry in this historic parish church, you must either be part of the parish or have some other legally recognized connection with it. Of course, Chris’ family had a long standing connection with the village, which meant he and Gemma were one of the lucky ones to be able to get married here.
With the church packed to the rafters with friends and family there was an excited anticipation as Gemma was escorted up the aisle by her father. Chris and his best men looked on with a mixture of pride and happiness, which was to set the tone for the rest of the wedding ceremony.
Smiles, Hugs and Kisses
Rings exchanged, first kiss enjoyed and wedding register signed, the newly married couple proceeded out into the afternoon countryside sunshine, where they were quickly surrounded by excited and emotional guests.
As a wedding photojournalist this is a great time for me to document some tender moments and heartfelt emotions. Lost in the moment of post-ceremony bliss, I go unnoticed and capture some truly beautiful and natural wedding photography.
A Rural Backyard Marquee Wedding Reception
Gemma and Chris were in the fortunate position of a family friend who owned a small meadow just down from the church, which made for a great location for a marquee wedding reception. With great views of the surrounding Northants countryside, hay bales and beautiful rustic diy decorations and details, it was a truly stunning backyard type setting for the evening reception.
The speeches were the traditional mix of tears and laughter, particularly as the groom paid a moving tribute to his late mother, Olive, which didn’t leave a dry eye in the house or, rather, marquee, including myself!
The remainder of the afternoon was a great time for kids to have fun with the hay bales and explore the meadow, whilst the adult guests do what adult wedding guests usually do, drink and make merry.
First Dance and Country Dancing
With a hog roast slowly cooking outside and evening guests arriving it was time for the romantic first dance. As Chris serenaded his beautiful bride around the marquee’s dance floor, friends and family, looked on with happiness – after all these years, Chris had finally found the woman of his dreams.
With the cake cutting done, it was then onto some fabulous country dancing that really got both the marquee and evening in full swing. From the smiles and grins on everyone’s faces, it was clear this was a great way to start the evening celebrations.
As is usual for the evening dancing, I love to get right into the frenzy of the dancefloor and shooting with a slow flash on my camera, in order to swirl those lights and get a real feeling of the mood and movement.
Nether Heyford Wedding Photographer
As I’m sure you’ll agree from the above photos and small selection of wedding photography that follows, Gemma and Chris had a truly wonderful English rural wedding with a personal touch of a DIY backyard wedding.
If you like this post and the wedding photos I’d love you to share across your social media and even tag friends and family you know.
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